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    Getting To Know Your Aquatic Weeds: Hydrilla

    by: Tracy King   |   Jun 18, 2013

    hydrilla clear waterOf the number of aquatic weeds that are found in your pond there are many that can cause more issues that others. One of these plants is Hydrilla. Released in the United States in Floridawaterways in the 1960’s, hydrilla has now established in many states. The eradication of this invasive weed is costing millions of dollars each year. This aquatic weed spreads very quickly, clogging waterways, wrapping around boat propellers, and even getting tangled around the legs of unsuspecting swimmers, resulting in drowning. It is a submersed plant that can grow to the surface and form dense mats. It may be found in all types of water bodies from stagnant ponds to flowing mountain streams. 

    Hydrilla stems are slender, branched and up to 25 feet long. Hydrilla's small leaves are strap-like and pointed.They grow in whorls of four to eight around the stem.The leafmargins are distinctly saw-toothed. Hydrilla often has one or more sharp teeth along the length of the leaf mid-rib. Hydrilla produces tiny white flowers on long stalks. It also produces 1/4 inch turions at the leaf axils and potato-like tubers attached to the roots in the mud. The tubers can lay dormant for several years making control of these plants difficult. 

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    Topics: Invasive Species

    A Short Guide to Best Management Practices for Lakes and Ponds

    by: Tracy King   |   Nov 28, 2012

    lake bmpProperty owners or managers responsible for the care of lakes or ponds are advised to observe best management practices, or BMPs. These practices, when applied properly, allow one to protect lake water and the surrounding areas, and provide a safe environment for vegetation and recreation. Whether you utilize your lake or pond for outdoor leisure – including fishing, swimming, and other water sports – or simply use the space to beautify a commercial property, know that keeping the area clean also helps in promoting a healthy living and/or work space.

    What exactly is involved in applying BMPs to lake management? It’s more than a matter of simply keeping the grounds free of litter. A reputable lake management company looks at several factors to ensure your lake or pond remains healthy for plant and animal life to enjoy. Aspects of best management practices normally include the following:

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration

    SOLitude is Recognized for Volunteer Efforts at the VA Peninsula Foodbank

    by: Tracy King   |   Nov 27, 2012

    dp pictures food bank short on turkeys 2012111 009The SOLitude Lake Management team was featured in the Daily Press, after helping the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank give out turkeys before the Thanksgiving holiday. This hunger relief agency expressed a 'dire need,' as donations were extremely low this year.

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    Topics: The SOLution

    Pond Management: Aquatics in Brief - Fall 2012

    by: Tracy King   |   Oct 29, 2012

    SOLitude Lake Fall 2012 NewsletterSOLitude Lake Management produces a quarterly educational newsletter to provide you with ongoing lake, pond and fisheries management knowledge and industry news.

    Click to read: Aquatics in Brief - Fall 2012 Issue.

    In our fall issue, learn about the importance of winterizing your pond, avoiding a fish kill, and meet our most recent staff addition. Read what our experts are saying about Phragmites, vegetative buffer control and more in our latest issue of Aquatics in Brief. 

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    Topics: Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    SOLitude Announces Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist

    by: Tracy King   |   Oct 19, 2012

    Lisa Richards bio pic sm web3We are pleased to welcome Lisa Richards, Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist to our staff.

    Lisa will be primarily responsible for assisting our senior Fisheries Biologists in expanding the fisheries management program as well as consulting with our clients on long-term water management solutions.

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    Topics: SOLitude News

    Fisheries Management: Is My Pond Balanced?

    by: Tracy King   |   Oct 18, 2012

    By Industry Expert David Beasley, Fisheries Biologist 

    balanced pondPonds and lakes come in all shapes and sizes, each with unique characteristics setting them apart. One similarity amongst many of them is they have two fish species in common; Bluegill and Largemouth Bass.

    Bluegill are normally the primary forage fish and they are well designed for that purpose. Bluegill spawn over the course of the spring and summer. During this time hundreds of thousands, or even millions of young bluegill serve as a food source for other fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and even insects. It is safe to say that Bluegill play a vital role in the ecosystem.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management

    The Amazing American Eel

    by: Tracy King   |   Oct 05, 2012

    Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    american eelRecently, while surveying some ponds and canals that feed into a tidal inland bay, I noticed some small slender creatures swimming about. They were no more than three inches long, and swam with whip-like bodies that wiggled about as fast as anything I’ve ever seen. They were young eels, probably tiny females though science isn’t sure about that yet, making their way upstream after what can only be described as an incredible journey.

    The American Eel (and it’s very similar European cousin) is one of the most remarkable fish in the world. While many fish species like Salmon and Shad swim into freshwater to breed and live the rest of their lives in the ocean, these eels do the exact opposite. Eels, the females at least, swim up our rivers at a young age, then live in fresh water for 10-30 years. We used to think that male eels never left coastal areas, but now we think that population density might drive sex determination. In short, we don’t know what causes an eel to be male or female.  We do know that females can reach lengths in excess of five feet, while males rarely reach past three. We also do not know what triggers an eel to decide it’s time to breed, as some do this at less than ten years of age while others remain in our rivers until they are above thirty, but we do know what happens when they do.

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures

    Fishing With Kids

    by: Tracy King   |   Sep 10, 2012

    fishing with kidsThe fast pace of our society has made it common for kids to spend less time in the outdoors.  Due to the advances in technology and the financial need to have both parents working to pay the bills, it seems that most people have become complacent with kids not getting as involved with outdoor activities.  Involving children with nature is critical for the preservation of the environment and the successful development of our culture. One fun way to get kids involved with “Mother Nature” is to take them fishing.  
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    Topics: Fisheries Management

    Factors That Determine Successful Fisheries Management

    by: Tracy King   |   Sep 04, 2012

    7-8_pound_largemouth_bass_cIf you maintain water property as part of your business or home, you may have a small population of fish to care for in your pond or lake. Whether you keep fish for a business (fish camp, outdoor resort) or enjoy a private spot for your personal recreation, you want to ensure the health of all aquatic and plant life regardless of weather and surrounding environment. Proper management of your lake or pond property can ensure that every time you or somebody else fishes - for food or sport - that every catch yields a healthy specimen. The productivity of your fishery relies upon a number of factors to guarantee this success.

    Property owners unfamiliar with managing such an environment should contact a lake and fisheries management firm with the tools and skills useful in maintaining optimal water levels and fish population. You'll learn soon that keeping a lake or pond involves more than spraying occasionally for insects and making sure there is no overflow after a long rain.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management

    School of Hard Knocks: You Can’t Control Mother Nature

    by: Tracy King   |   Aug 21, 2012

    AS SEEN IN "THE DIRT", LAND & WATER MAGAZINE'S eNEWSLETTER, August 21, 21012: Written by Industry Expert John Phelps, Environmental Scientist 

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Published Articles